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| Astronomy Essentials | Space on Mar 21, 2015

Dates of lunar and solar eclipses in 2015 and 2016

Upcoming eclipses.

The solar eclipse of March 20, 2015 is over. The next eclipse is a total eclipse of the full moon on April 4, 2015. It’ll last less than five minutes, making it the shortest total lunar eclipse of the 21st century. The total lunar eclipse will be visible from western North America, eastern Asia, the Pacific, Australia and New Zealand. At North American time zones, that means the greatest eclipse happens before sunrise on April 4 – the morning of April 4, not the evening. From the world’s Eastern Hemisphere – eastern Asia, Indonesia, New Zealand and Australia – the greatest eclipse takes place after sunset April 4. Follow the links below to learn the dates for upcoming solar and lunar eclipses in 2015 and 2016. Enjoy.

Shortest total lunar eclipse of century on April 4

Eclipses in 2015

Eclipses in 2016

Fortnight (approximate two-week) separation between solar and lunar eclipses

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Eclipse times for April 4, 2015 lunar eclipse in Central Daylight Time.

Eclipse times for April 4, 2015 lunar eclipse in Central Daylight Time. Translate to your time zone here.

Composite total solar eclipse Aug. 1999 by Fred Espenak.

Composite total solar eclipse Aug. 1999 by Fred Espenak.

This is what a total eclipse looks like.  This is the total eclipse of October 27, 2004 via Fred Espenak of NASA, otherwise known as Mr. Eclipse.  Visit Fred's page here.

This is what a total eclipse looks like. This is the total eclipse of October 27, 2004 via Fred Espenak of NASA. Visit Fred’s page here. We astronomy writers often describe a totally eclipsed moon as appearing ‘blood red.’ Here’s why the moon turns red during a total eclipse.

Eclipses in 2015
March 20: Total solar eclipse
April 4: Total lunar eclipse
September 13: Partial solar eclipse
September 28: Total lunar eclipse

Eclipses in 2016
March 9: Total solar eclipse
March 23: Penumbral lunar eclipse
September 1: Annular solar eclipse
September 16: penumbral lunar eclipse

Fortnight (approximate two-week) separation between solar and lunar eclipses. A solar eclipse always takes place within one fortnight of any lunar eclipse. For instance, in 2015, the total solar eclipse on March 20 comes one fortnight before the Blood Moon total lunar eclipse of April 4. The partial solar eclipse on September 13 occurs one fortnight before the Blood Moon total lunar eclipse of September 28. In 2016, the total solar eclipse of March 9 happens one fortnight before the penumbral lunar eclipse of March 23; and the September 1 annular solar eclipse takes place one fortnight before the September 16 penumbral lunar eclipse.

Somewhat rarely, a solar eclipse can occur one fortnight before and after a lunar eclipse. This will next happen in the year 2018:
July 13: Partial solar eclipse
July 27: Total lunar eclipse
August 11: Partial solar eclipse

Somewhat rarely, a lunar eclipse can come one fortnight before and after a solar eclipse. This will next happen in the year 2020:
June 5: Penumbral lunar eclipse
June 21: Annular solar eclipse
July 5: Penumbral lunar eclipse

Read more about three eclipses in one month

Animation of the 2015 April 4 total lunar eclipse. The moon travels eastward through the Earth's penumbra (light outside shadow) and umbra (dark inner shadow) shadow. The yellow line depicts the ecliptic - Earth's orbital plane. Although the moon, at least in part, spends about 3.5 hours within the umbra, it is only totally submerged in the umbra (dark shadow) for a short while, or less than 5 minutes. Read more

Animation of the 2015 April 4 total lunar eclipse. The moon travels eastward through the Earth’s penumbra (light outside shadow) and umbra (dark inner shadow) shadow. The yellow line depicts the ecliptic – Earth’s orbital plane. Although the moon, at least in part, spends about 3.5 hours within the umbra, it is only totally submerged in the umbra (dark shadow) for a short while, or less than 5 minutes. Read more

Bottom line: Dates of solar and lunar eclipses in 2015 and 2016.

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